Braintree: Murder trial hears of girl’s escape

AN 11-YEAR-old described how she escaped her home as her mother was subjected to a series of “degrading assaults” before being shot dead.

The girl was giving evidence during the trial of David Oakes who is accused of shooting dead her mother, his ex-partner Christine Chambers and their two-year-old daughter Shania.

The girl, who was 10 at the time, escaped from the house in Braintree and ran for help during the incident in June last year.

She told Chelmsford Crown Court Miss Chambers and Oakes had broken up and were fighting over custody of Shania.

In a video interview taken shortly after the attack and played to the court today, she said: “He came in our house with lots of weapons. He came in when we were all about to go to sleep and mummy said ‘get out of my house’.

“It was about 12.10am and we heard somebody coming up the stairs. He turned the light on and said ‘do you know why I’m here?’

“Mummy said ‘get out of my house’ and he said ‘no’ and got a gun out. He kept saying he was going to burn our house down. He made mummy cut off her hair a bit as well.”

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She said she had pleaded with Oakes not to hurt her, Miss Chambers or Shania and he said “yeah, yeah”.

“Mummy was crying but he didn’t shed a tear of anything,” she added.

“He said ‘I want you to come back to me’ and made her say she loved him but he said he didn’t believe her.

“I jumped out of the window and went to my daddy’s. Before I went out of the window I ran down the stairs and he threw a gun at my back.

“He said to mummy ‘I want you to suffer as much as I have’.”

Describing Oakes, she added: “He was horrible. Sometimes when they were in arguments he hit her and threatened her.

“Mummy would call the police when he was scaring her. The police came but she stuck up for him because he was so scary.”

Oakes, 50, of Canney Road, Steeple, Essex, was treated for a gunshot injury after what the prosecution describes as a suicide attempt during the incident.

Oakes, who was not in court to hear the girl’s evidence, allegedly attacked Miss Chambers before shooting the pair.

He denies two counts of murder.

The 11-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is due to give further evidence by videolink later today.